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Sony Wants To Improve Game Quality, Hands Are Tied

Sony's UK CEO, Jim Ryan, gave an interview to Metro this weekend to discuss the quality of games being released in the industry today.

It has been a hard couple of years for gamers. Ubisoft decided to lock its Assassin's Creed Unity at 30 fps, and Bethesda decided to do the same with The Evil Within, leading us to wonder if the 60 fps standard may be giving way to 30 fps as the target for game refresh rates.

Worse than the reduction in fps imposed by some companies, a remarkable number of games were launched with broken performance. Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed Unity, Watch Dogs on PC, Halo, and Sony's Driveclub all had numerous bugs at launch, and were partially or entirely unplayable as a result.

Playstation users could be in luck on future games, however. "Now, should the game have worked at launch? Of course. Should people pay £50 for something and expect it to work? Of course," said Ryan. "We are a publisher of content in our own right and we are the platform holder who overlays a level of what is called format QA. Obviously the lessons that we learnt in the context of Driveclub were many and painful, and will be applied internally in the context of every first party title that we publish going forward."

It seems clear that Sony is very concerned about the quality of games and is pledging to take extra steps to ensure that games are not released in a broken state. This likely indicates a higher level of quality assurance for games from Sony such as LittleBigPlanet series and The Last of Us series.

Not that renewed diligence on Sony's part will cure all ills. "It is very hard for us to QA the online expedience of a third party game," added Ryan. "When a third party multiplayer game runs on the servers of that third party publisher, you'll understand it's virtually impossible for us to QA that online experience."

Apparently, even if Sony wants to focus on improving the quality of games for Playstation, it can't really do anything when it comes to games made by other companies. Hopefully, following the numerous broken games released over the last year, game makers will follows Sony's lead and take more time to improve game quality.

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  • surphninja
    Could it be that game companies went through some growing pains developing for the newer consoles? Maybe they've learned their lessons.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    So why don't they steal a page from Apple(hurt to say that) and only approve games when they meet certain criteria just like is done in app stores? They could hold the keys if they wanted but of course they probably would have to get MS to do something similar on xbox.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    Could it be that game companies went through some growing pains developing for the newer consoles? Maybe they've learned their lessons.
    Sony's box is essentially a dedicated linux box, and MS's box is partly a PC and will soon essentially be a PC... these are not 'new unknown' platforms that should have huge growing pains. These are plain-jane x86 boxes with pretty 'normal' hardware (especially compared to previous generations of consoles).

    The issue is that both companies released hardware that was too anemic to live up to expectations, and programmers are desperately trying to find shortcuts and cheats that work at lowering quality just enough that people will not complain, but sill offer a 900p/60fps/2xAA experience that will pass as OK for the next few years. The issue is that in a little over a year (my guess is summer 2016) we will have mobile tablets with better graphics capabilities than either console. If either company is serious about providing a console experience than we will see a half-cycle refresh with better GPUs that are much more easily capable of 1080p/60fps/4xAA/AF to run out the rest of the console generation.

    Hopefully next gen they will not be so silly hoping that 'the cloud' will save them and we will see affordable 4K consoles come out in another 6-7 years.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    I believe it was called the Nintendo seal of quality, perhaps Sony needs one?
    Reply
  • StarBound
    I also distinctly remember a Nintendo Seal of Quality. I'm pretty sure if Sony starts adding those to its disc based games we might see 6-12 month delays but games will be working out of the box. But the demand for early access is a bit too strong at this time so we could see games being released and the final game only coming later ...if ever.
    Reply
  • dmb77
    I think our own customer base screwed ourselves on this generation. The console manufacturers were planning on omitting the disc media in favor of all OTA digital and that would have provided the room for a bit more horsepower given the cost envelope. A dedicated dualcore Pentium with HT along with a dedicated gpu would have increased the performance a lot with less heat than we currently have. But NO. We HAD to have the ability to resell games. As the kiddies say. Cry more.
    Reply
  • dmb77
    And before someone mentions " But it's 8 core now with GDDR 5 memory " , you have to consider that it doesn't matter if your highway is 8 lanes wide that can handle traffic moving at 140mph if all you have on it are two ragged 18 wheelers.
    Reply
  • mlga91
    Sadly, companies will keep releasing half baked games because they can, there is a lot of people that loves paying for those half baked games, if those people dont stop blindly pre.ordering those products, the companies will continue with that way of doing things.
    Reply
  • draphius
    Quote:
    Could it be that game companies went through some growing pains developing for the newer consoles? Maybe they've learned their lessons.

    Sony's box is essentially a dedicated linux box, and MS's box is partly a PC and will soon essentially be a PC... these are not 'new unknown' platforms that should have huge growing pains. These are plain-jane x86 boxes with pretty 'normal' hardware (especially compared to previous generations of consoles).

    The issue is that both companies released hardware that was too anemic to live up to expectations, and programmers are desperately trying to find shortcuts and cheats that work at lowering quality just enough that people will not complain, but sill offer a 900p/60fps/2xAA experience that will pass as OK for the next few years. The issue is that in a little over a year (my guess is summer 2016) we will have mobile tablets with better graphics capabilities than either console. If either company is serious about providing a console experience than we will see a half-cycle refresh with better GPUs that are much more easily capable of 1080p/60fps/4xAA/AF to run out the rest of the console generation.

    Hopefully next gen they will not be so silly hoping that 'the cloud' will save them and we will see affordable 4K consoles come out in another 6-7 years.

    I think u may be in for a surprise. the next batch of consoles may be using the cloud practically entirely. theres a good chance that gpu farms will do all the heavy lifting and u will just have a small set top box that decodes the signal. we are really close to being able to pull off low latency streaming over the net allready and microsoft has been buying up companies that deal in online game streaming.they are also implementing some forms of streaming to get people used to it right now.

    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Their hands have been tied since the PS1. That system literally had 1000s of worthless titles.
    Reply